Middle Eastern Studies (research)

Leiden University’s Research Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies allows you to focus on a region, such as the Arab world, North Africa, Turkey and the Persian world, or on a discipline, such as history, politics, religion, languages and literature, both regionally and cross-regionally.

Middle Eastern and Islamic studies in Leiden have a justly deserved worldwide reputation. Their breadth and depth are not only unparallelled in the Netherlands, but represent the very best of Middle Eastern and Islam-related research and teaching in Europe and beyond.

The broad expertise of Leiden’s teaching faculty provides opportunities to explore the spectrum of Middle Eastern life and culture, from its Christian communities to Islamists and from the origins of Islam to the living, vibrant present. For those concentrating on Islamic studies, the programme embraces Muslim societies across Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The opportunity to work intensively in primary languages is offered in all tracks, but not demanded.

The programme, while paying special attention to regions and inter-regional relations, draws upon a comparative Area Studies approach. Middle Eastern Studies (research) not only encourages intra-Middle East comparisons, but closely co-operates with Asian Studies (research). This co-operation is institutionalised, for example, through a common introductory course on Area Studies.

Within Middle Eastern Studies, it is possible to focus on:

  • Turkish Studies;
  • Arabic Studies;
  • North African Studies;
  • Persian Studies;
  • Israel;
  • Islam;
  • Eastern Christianity;
  • Modern Middle East Studies.

It is also possible to combine courses, allowing thus for more flexibility and a wider view on the region.

Spend a semester in Morocco
The Middle Eastern Studies department has close links with the Netherlands Institute in Morocco (NIMAR) and offers students of the Middle Eastern Studies (Research) programme the opportunity to spend one semester at the institute in Rabat for study or to do research.

Check out the programme in Middle Eastern Studies

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Master’s or Research Master’s?

It is also possible to study Middle Eastern Studies as a one-year programme.

Apart from the contents, there can be other arguments to choose for either a Master’s or a Research Master’s programme. Have a look at the table in pdf for a quick overview of the differences. For more details on the contents, also visit the Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies pages.

Master details

  • Degree Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies (research)
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 2 years
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60843

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